2010 Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Award

2010 Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Award

This family business started out tending to accidents, and shootings, and even delivering babies. With Red Cross instruction and a lot of on-the-job training, brothers Paul and Pat Ryan started Ryan Brothers Ambulance.

In July of 1962 they applied for an unsecured loan with a local bank to purchase their first ambulance. They operated out of the Ryan Funeral Home on King Street in Madison. Operating with just two employees and family members, they worked every day and night for the first five years.

They had discovered a niche serving the Veterans Administration and local nursing homes and rehab centers, transferring patients between facilities. Their philosophy is to care for the elderly with dignity. They pride themselves at honoring last wishes of Hospice patients whenever possible. That core value generated steady business for the next thirty years.

While the business grew, so did the family. Pat and his wife Joanne were raising three sons, Erin, Patrick and Tommy.

Brothers Pat and Paul worked many of the 24/7 shifts themselves, often taking the ambulance home so they could have dinner with the family before returning to work. Pat’s sons worked at the business part time after high school, but it was not their intent to transition the business to the next generation. Pat, Senior was clear to the boys that the business was tough and demanded attention 24/7.

Pat Senior’s brother Paul passed away suddenly in 1994. Erin and Pat finished their college degrees and went to work for their father. As he watched his sons work together, he realized they were serious about their new careers.

In 1998 Pat Senior handed over the operation to his sons and each found a natural division of responsibilities with Patrick overseeing administration and Erin managing operations. They bought the company from their father in 2004.

Today, they operate three stations in Madison with a fleet of 15 ambulances. They opened a station in Fort Atkinson in 2002 where they also provide 911 services. Their fifth station was opened in Deerfield in 2008. Their sixth station opened in Sun Prairie.

Ryan Brothers Ambulance participates in many community events and organizations. They are the sole ambulance provider for the annual Ironman event in Madison. They volunteer to serve Meals on Wheels. Participate and sponsor the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in Madison. And they fund an annual scholarship for graduating seniors at East High School in Madison.